English Championship football club Fulham has today (Friday) announced that fans will be able to use the new Riverside Stand at Craven Cottage from next season, but added that the project will now not be fully completed until the 2023-24 campaign.

Fulham, which is on course for an immediate return to the Premier League, said that the lower tier of the Riverside Stand will be open to fans from the 2022-23 season. However, it stated that the “complex nature” of the project, coupled with implications arising from COVID-19, means that the development of Fulham Pier will continue throughout next season – including the completion of interior fit-outs of spaces throughout the venue.

The club added: “Whilst we are preparing for full occupancy, ahead of the full opening of the Riverside Stand and Fulham Pier in the summer of 2023, the opening of the lower tier represents the first phase of supporters being located in the new stand – a milestone moment in the development of the project.

“During the 2022-23 campaign season tickets will become available in the lower tier on a single season basis, providing the first opportunity for supporters to experience the new stand. The new Riverside Stand will provide some of the very best seats Craven Cottage has ever had to offer, allowing unprecedented views of the matchday action.”

Work on the new 8,650-capacity Riverside Stand began in the summer of 2019, following an announcement by the club in May of that year. Fulham appointed Buckingham Group Contracting as the lead contractor for the project in late 2018. It worked with architecture firm Populous on the new stand, which will feature a new river wall and a public riverside walk.

The new two-tiered stand, which had initially been expected to be finished in time for the 2021-22 season as part of a two-year build, will increase the venue’s capacity from 25,700 to 29,600, with restaurants overlooking the river, events spaces, a health club complete with roof-top pool, a boutique hotel and a roof terrace also in the original plans.

However, it was reported last month that certain elements of the scheme had been altered with Fulham now planning a private members’ club on the top of the stand.

The club is seeking to introduce a new space on the upper floors of the stand instead of an event space. The club had been granted planning permission to build a hotel, bar and lounge on the upper floors of the new stand.

The lounge is set to be switched out in place of a space for members and hospitality ticket holders. The space also includes meeting rooms and a creche.

Image: Fulham FC